UFC Las Vegas took place last night (Sat., March 11, 2023) on ESPN+ from inside The Theater at Virgin Hotels in Las Vegas, Nevada. In the main event of the evening, Merab Dvalishvili dominated Petr Yan to win a unanimous decision (recap here). In the co-main event, Alexander Volkov knocked out Alexandr Romanov in the first round (highlights here).
Biggest Winner: Merab Dvalishvili
“The Machine” lived up to his moniker, putting on a Terminator-like performance after dominating the former Bantamweight champion of the world, Yan, for 25 minutes to win his ninth straight fight inside the Octagon. That win should be more than good enough to warrant a title shot, but since his teammate, Aljamain Sterling, is the current titleholder, a title shot isn’t in his future at the moment. But, if Henry Cejudo defeats “Funkmaster” at UFC 288 it could very well happen. For now, Dvalishvili will soak up the win and expect a bump in the rankings later this week now that he has proven once again that he could very well be the best 135-pound fighter in the sport.
Runner (s) Up: Alexander Volkov, Jonathan Martinez
There were several big wins on the main card and on the “Prelims,” including Davey Grant’s spectacular $50,000-winning submission over Raphael Assuncao (see it), and Nikita Krylov’s submission win over Ryan Spann (video here), so either one of those could have made the list here. But, we are going to go with Volkov and Martinez. Volkov won his second in a row after knocking out Alexandr Romanov rather quickly, which could move him into the Top 5. As for Martinez, he could be breaking into the Top 15 after pulling off a big upset and earning one of the biggest wins of his career by out-classing Said Nurmagomedov (No. 14) for 15 minutes to earn the unanimous decision victory. That is now five straight wins for Martinez (seven of eight overall).
Biggest Loser: Petr Yan
Coming into the fight we had Yan needing a win in a bad way after losing three of his last four. But, things went from bad to terrible after he suffered his third straight loss, putting him at a dreadful 1-4 over his last five fights. This loss was especially crucial because he was out-classed in every aspect of the fight, Dvalishvili did what he wanted, when he wanted and Yan simply had no answers. That No. 2 ranking he has been enjoying will be no more come next week because a record like that can easily take him out of the Top 5. As far as his title fight aspirations, those have drifted further away and he now has a huge hole to dig himself out of.
For complete UFC Las Vegas: “Yan vs. Dvalishvili” results and play-by-play, click HERE.